KCC to Become Higher Ed Provider for Lake County
Klamath Community College will become the official provider of higher education services for Lake County, according an agreement reached between officials with KCC, Lake County and Lake County School District No. 7. Under the agreement, KCC will provide dual credit opportunities for secondary students as well as college level course access to meet the educational needs of the region.
In addition to providing dual credit in Lake County high schools, KCC will offer in-person college courses at the Western Regional Innovation and Learning Center, located at Daly Middle School. Daly Middle School was recently vacated due to low enrollment numbers and budget cuts and has been made available for the Western Regional Innovation and Learning Center by the school district. KCC will also utilize technology to offer distance learning opportunities to the citizens of Lake County, including online, hybrid and synchronous courses.
The Western Regional Innovation and Learning Center has recently been designated as an Oregon Solutions project by Governor John Kitzhaber, who also named KCC President Dr. Roberto Gutierrez and LCSD#7 Superintendent Sean Gallagher as co-conveners for the project. “Lake County is one of the most isolated communities in the state, often forcing residents to leave the county for the advanced education necessary to secure or retain a job,” Governor Kitzhaber said in a recent letter regarding the center. He went on to state that the center “will improve the individual lives and the greater community by offering education that is normally accessible elsewhere, as well as innovative educational programs unique to the region.”
Lake County Board of Commissioners Chair Ken Kestner is excited for the partnership as well. “KCC will be a tremendous asset to Lake County,” he said. “Treasure Valley Community College was a great partner in the past, but having KCC provide these services going forward presents a great opportunity for not just our youth, but the entire community.”
Klamath Community College officially becomes Lake County’s higher education provider July 1, 2013, but initial work to ensure that courses will be offered in Lake County by fall term is already underway. “This is a historic agreement,” said Dr. Gutierrez. “We are looking forward to a very long and successful relationship with Lake County and our partners there.” Details regarding exactly which courses and programs will be offered in Lakeview are being formalized, and more details will be made available as soon as they are made final.
“KCC’s willingness to provide foundational higher education services for the Western Regional Innovation and Learning Center will exponentially increase those opportunities for our high school students and community members,” said Sean Gallagher, LCSD#7 Superintendent. “When workforce retraining and higher education degree programs are brought to a rural, isolated region of Oregon, this becomes an innovative partnership to reach the 40-40-20 goals set by the state.”
40-40-20 is a State of Oregon educational initiative designed to have 40 percent of Oregonians complete at least a bachelor’s degree, 40 percent complete an associate degree or professional certificate and the remaining 20 percent graduate from high school with a standard diploma by 2025.
Lake County residents interested in learning more can direct questions and inquiries to Susie Cahill at 541-947-5237.